Special Interests - Groups & Societies > BROW

45-70, 45-90, 45-110 for hunting


I convinced my wife that my gun safe was getting under utilized and that I needed to add a new rifle.  I'm looking for a gun that I can use to hunt with - being in Utah I'd like to use it on Deer, Elk, and if all goes well an ocassional (out of state) black bear hunt.  Now I'm smart enough to know that if I put a 45 caliber slug through the boiler room of any critter - I'm going to be punching my tag.  What I'm not smart enough to know is what the practical hunting range is of these cartridges.   :-\

So I've got a few questions for you all:
45-70 vs. 45-90 vs. 45-110 ->  What are pratical hunting ranges for these cartridges when loaded with blackpowder and smokeless powder(I know smokeless powder is a fightin' word in this forum, but I'll likely end up shooting both, so I've got to ask)?

I'm not a recoil sensitive guy, but I'm partial to being able to use my right shoulder after shooting - how bad is the recoil of the two larger cartridges?

Here's a can of worms for you: '74 Sharps vs Highwall any particular advantages to one or the other (I prefer the looks of the Sharps)?

Last but not least, due to cost I'll likely end up with one of the Spanish or Itallion reproductions - How do these imports compare with one another?

Thanks - It's been a long time since I last posted here, but if it hasn't changed I know I'll get some good answers

Very simple, with any of these rounds with their high trajectory is about 200 for sportsman like hunting.  Beyond it is a guess as to range, a minor mistake in range will often put you several inches high or low.  What one can do in the field guessing ranges is different than on a range at know distances.

If you really want to put it to the test, have someone set up several paper plates at unknown distance for you.  The range you can put every shot into the plate is where you should stop.  This works well with handguns and modern wiz bang beanfield rifles also.

Oregon Bill:
Posted my answer to this one on the Gun Reviews forum.

link added by moderator: http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/index.php/topic,7158.msg82826.html#msg82826


James Hunt:
I have a self imposed limit of 100 yds. when using BP cartrdige rifle on game. I just can't judge distance beyond that, and being from the east it is hard for me to show up in wyoming and judge distance where there are no trees every 50 ft for perspective. Since I carry a traditional rifle with a traditional cartridge I refuse to carry a range finder. Even if I did, i wouldn't shoot beyond 150 yds as the drop is just to great for an occasional shooter like myself to use iron sights on.

If you should also limit yourself to such ranges, I can't see much difference in the killing power of the .45's. They are all effective. But there will be a difference in ease of use. Once you get over 80 gr. of black powder, it seems that the degree of difficulty goes up, or at least care in loading. It took me a full year to figure out my .45-110, case stretching and inconsistant patterns were a problem. Shoving pride aside, I finally went on the Shiloh board and begged for help. Problem got fixed. But I have found that with my .45-70 (sharps or springfield) I could be pretty careless in the loading and case prep department and still get good results at 100 or 200 yds - the distances I practice at. Recoil is not an issue amongst any in my opinion.

I have never shot the high walls or rolling blocks. But if your interest is in sharps I can recommend the Pedersoli, mine is in .45-70 and is a great shooter. From what I understand it is the only Italian that is competitive with the American guns. Having said that I haven't shot mine in years.

That brings me to the final point. If you want a Sharps type gun MAKE SURE YOU GET THE ONE YOU REALLY WANT, did I say that loud enough. If you don't you will end up with two guns, the one you always wanted and the one you could afford, the latter will sit in the safe forever (like mine does). If you are going to dump $1000 into a Pedersoli, then wait until you put together another $700 and get the Shiloh, there is that much difference in quality - honest. I have two shilohs and I will starve before they go on the auction block.

My favorite caliber for hunting? The .50-70 in my 28 inch heavy barrel hartford. It like the .45-70 is easy to load (take that to mean sloppy technique and still forgiving) and the difference in bullet drop is neglegible. I just like the history of the cartridge.

Anyway all these stressfull decisions are a treat to worry about. Have fun.

rkensparc: There are a few things to think about here.
1. The cost of your components. 45/70 brass is going to be the cheapest and the easiest to get by far. The 90, and the 110 are over a dollar apiece for really good quality brass.
2. The weight of the bullet you are going to use. If just for hunting, the heavier, and the biggest flat nose bullet, the better. I am going to try some of those 525 grain "Pile-Drivers" by Beartooth Bullets. They have a web sight. Check them out, but they have a back log on those. Must be a reason.
3. Preformance: The 45-70 will do anything you want it to do. Has for over 130 years now.
The 45-90 is for if you want a little extra "ummph" on both ends. I think the 45-90 is the best all around if you want that little extra. The 45-110 is great also, but the difference in the three is only about 250-350 FPS generallly. All depends on how you load them, and if you picture yourself as the Quigley type.

I have loaded a 45-70 up with a 450 grainer, and 53 grains of IMR 4895. BUT!! only in my Ruger #1!! Let me say that it will kill from BOTH ends! In my Shiloh, I only use black power. It is a joy to shoot, and pretty darn accurate also. But you do have to experiment to get the most accurate load from any rifle. Thats half the fun. So pick your caliber, your bullet, and then PRACTICE from 50 to 300 yards and find out about your abilities. You just may suprise yourself on how good you are.
Good luck ------------- Punkinchunker


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